Friday, December 2, 2016

From Overwhelmed to Overwhelmed.

Oh wow… it’s been so long since I wrote. Where to start?

So I guess nearly two years ago when we put our hands up to help start the transitional home for the older teens at the children’s home, reaching 18 and wishing to work or go to university, we had no idea how what that looked like or how long we’d do it for.

Over the past two years, we’ve had ten young people live at the house (at different times) with our family. The length of their stays has differed according to their needs. Out of the ten young adults, seven of them are still actively involved in the transition program. By this I mean they still live here, stay over or come and use the house throughout the week and are a part of our mentoring program, weekly catch-ups and celebrations.

We have another 5-6 young people, who currently live at ZOE, and are in the preparation stage, getting ready to move here sometime over the next 4 months.

Just recently, we had started exploring the idea of our family moving out of the transitional home and finding a house close by where we can still be involved (Dave will still oversee the program) but we will have some more space and at the same time create space for the young people who will be moving here soon.

In the past, moving hasn’t fazed me but honestly we all love living here and deep down none of us want to move but on the other hand, we all know it’s one of those hard-but-right decisions for everyone. Thankfully we were able to find a house very quickly and as I write this, we have begun the process of packing and clearing out and trying not to take too much with us to this next, much smaller, house.

Over the past two years Dave and I have loved seeing our own children grow and change. We have had the pleasure of watching them interact and grow to love their ‘big ZOE brothers and sisters’ and it will be sad to end this season living at the house. I am very excited for the next season of the transitional program though. After our family moves from the upstairs section of the house, there are another five or six girls and 1 guy coming to live at the house plus one missionary. The two wonderful Thai staff, who work at the house, will also stay over 1-2 times per week.

Please pray for the transition of our family moving out and the other missionary moving in, also for the young people finishing school this year and preparing to move into the house in the next few months.


School life: This is the second year that I have been involved in our school’s Parent/Teacher Group Leadership Team as well as the weekly prayer meetings and helping out where I can with athletics/swimming etc.
Top left: PTG, Top and bottom right: Friends from Australia,
Bottom left: Sweet friends  

This year has been a huge change as our Tobi started Grade 6 (Middle School).

This has meant lots more homework, staying up later, receiving a laptop from school and trying to cope with two parents who feel slightly extremely unprepared!
Life has a way of simply carrying on though whether we’re ready or not!

So far this year we have enjoyed supporting Eliana in her swimming endeavors. She brought home two medals at the International Schools Swim Meet. A bronze medal for a freestyle relay and a silver one for the 25m breast stroke. We were so proud of her efforts training both after school and on the weekends.

We also got to see both Eliana and Tobi try basketball for the first time this year. They both caught on quickly and even though the season is finished now, they still enjoy going to their school on a Saturday night and watching Dave play a pickup game in the men’s comp and shooting around in the breaks. Watch out for Spencer though, this boy can shoot and, at the rate he’s growing, we think next year when he can play U10s he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with! The current season has just started with both soccer (or football as everyone else calls it) and Track and Field. I am excited to see how each of the kids has improved since last year and I am resting my voice in preparation for some serious cheering at their games and meets!

In September this year, Tobi had his 11th birthday, a Marvel party, at a local rollerblading rink. Spencer’s party was postponed due to our family being sick for a few weeks with flu. When we eventually celebrated his 8th birthday, it was at home, ninja style, with a few close friends. Eliana is still deciding what to for her birthday in a little over a week’s time. She is determined to do something adventurous to mark being double figures… we’re just not sure what that will be yet!

In September this year we welcomed a new member into the Cross family- a little Shiranian (Pomeranian-Shih Tzu) puppy named Latte! He is super cute and super cheeky and loved by everyone at the house… I think he’ll be the most missed by the big kids when we move out but we’ll bring him around for lots of visits!
Latte's first visit to the vet.

In amongst the sickness, the moving, the busyness of Thanksgiving, Christmas, ZOE and school events it has been easy to look at my planner packed with events and an arm’s length to-do list and give in to some big… overwhelming… feelings!! During my quiet worship times though I have tried to mediate on the words of one of my favourite songs right now. It continues to give me the perspective that I need not be overwhelmed by my circumstances but instead with Him my creator and my God. The pressures, deadlines, meetings, events, appointments and strains in a busy season seem to fade in comparison to how amazing and wonderful He is.

If you don’t know the song, I’ll post the words below and if you don’t know this wonderful Creator and God who I speak about … then I challenge you to try Him out, talk to Him and see what happens. He is never far away. He made you and He already knows you!


I see the work of Your Hands
Galaxies spin in a Heavenly dance oh God
All that You are is so overwhelming

I hear the sound of Your Voice
All at once it's a gentle and thundering noise oh God
All that You are is so overwhelming

I delight myself in You
Captivated by Your beauty
I'm overwhelmed, I'm overwhelmed by You

God, I run into Your arms
Unashamed because of mercy
I'm overwhelmed, I'm overwhelmed by You

I know the power of Your Cross
Forgiven and free forever You'll be my God

All that You've done is so overwhelming
I delight myself in You
In the Glory of Your Presence
I'm overwhelmed, I'm overwhelmed by You

God, I run into Your arms
Unashamed because of mercy
I'm overwhelmed, I'm overwhelmed by You

You are Beautiful, You are Beautiful
Oh God, there is no one more Beautiful
You are Beautiful, God you are the most Beautiful

You are Wonderful, You are Wonderful
Oh God, there is no one more Wonderful
You are Wonderful, God You are the most Wonderful

You are Glorious, You are Glorious
Oh God, there is no one more Glorious
You are Glorious, God you are the most Glorious

I delight myself in you
In the Glory of your Presence
I'm overwhelmed, I'm overwhelmed by you

And God, I run into your arms
Unashamed because of mercy
I'm overwhelmed, I'm overwhelmed by you
I'm overwhelmed, I'm overwhelmed by you

There is no one more beautiful
God, you are the most beautiful

(Big Daddy Weave)


kat said...

Thanks for sharing, Andie! I'm praying for your family as you guys make a move and looking forward to hear more about your new place. We miss you! Much love.

Christine H said...

Love the openness and honesty you always share in your writing, Andrea. Blessings in abundance upon your family and your ministry xxx

Cross Family said...

Thanks Kat! We miss your family too x

Cross Family said...

Thanks Christine. I hope you had a joy-filled Christmas. Much love, Andie x